Late Saturday night, after Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins scored 41 points in a loss at West Virginia, the greatest Canadian player ever took notice of his young countryman.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash, a future Hall of Famer and the general manager of the Canadian national team, sent out this message to his nearly 2 million Twitter followers.
“The kid Andrew Wiggins showed his heart today in a loss,” Nash wrote. “Watch out.”
Wiggins, the Big 12’s freshman of the year, may be the future of Canadian basketball. But he’s just one of many northern exports that will be on display this week during the Big 12 Tournament at the Sprint Center.
Iowa State senior Melvin Ejim, the Big 12 player of the year, is from Toronto, while Baylor senior Brady Heslip honed his game in Burlington, Ontario — a Toronto suburb. The trend continues next year — K-State guard Justin Edwards, a redshirt transfer from Maine, will give the Wildcats a Canadian influence next season.
Here’s a look at The Star’s All-Canadian Big 12 team — and how it would compare to an American squad.| Rustin Dodd, email@example.com
• F Melvin Ejim, Iowa State, senior, Toronto, Ontario*
• F Dejan Kravic, Texas Tech, senior, London, Ontario
• G Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, freshman, Vaughan, Ontario*
• G Brady Heslip, Baylor, senior, Burlington, Ontario
• G Kenny Chery, Baylor, junior, Montreal, Quebec
• G Naz Long, Iowa State, sophomore, Mississauga, OntarioTeam USA
• F Perry Ellis, Kansas, sophomore, Wichita
• F Jonathan Holmes, Texas, junior, San Antonio
• G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, sophomore, Flower Mound, Texas*
• G DeAndre Kane, Iowa State, senior, Pittsburgh*
• G Juwan Staten, West Virginia, junior, Dayton, Ohio*
• G Marcus Foster, K-State, freshman, Wichita Falls, Texas
*chosen to The Star’s, The AP’s and the coaches’ all-Big 12 first team